“The basic strength of the Conservative Party – that it has once again adapted itself to a profound social revolution – remains”.

No, this isn’t a statement provoked by Boris Johnson’s capture of “Red Wall” seats, though it might be. It is the first sentence of an article written in 1955 by Henry Fairlie who was then The Spectator’s political correspondent. The title of the article was “Labour And The Working Class”. It was timely then, in the wake of that year’s General Election, and it is again timely now.

Fairlie was a very intelligent and thoughtful journalist to whom I owed much of my early political education. He made a mess of his private life, fled to the US, and years later died in poverty, camping out in the office of the New Republic magazine. But for a few years in the ’50s his articles were essential reading.